Right now, Duke might be the best lacrosse team in the country.
That’s right, the same Duke team that lost all those fifth-year guys and Zack Greer has lost precisely once since the start of March.
The Blue Devils blitzed Virginia, then outlasted North Carolina in a high-scoring ACC final this weekend. Clearly, Duke can score just like its immediate predecessors.
There’s still questions in the cage, and ultimately that is the biggest concern for the Blue Devils. One bad goalie game can send a team home in May.
Right now, I have Duke at No. 2 on my ballot. A case can be made for No. 1. And that just might be where the Blue Devils land in today’s bracketology edition.
1. Syracuse (11-2): Is it too late for newly eligible Cody Jamieson to be a game changer?
2. Duke (12-3): Crotty-Quinzani combo sure looks good
3. Virginia (13-2): Unbeaten against everyone except Duke
4. Notre Dame (13-0): Won’t know til the tournament the value of Irish’s unbeaten record
5. Princeton (11-2): A wide-open tournament helps the always-prepared Tigers
6. Johns Hopkins (7-4): Which is the real Hopkins —- the one that blitzed Navy or the one that barely escaped Towson?
7. Cornell (9-3): Big Red frittered away control of Ivy with loss at Brown
8. North Carolina (11-5): The ACC skid is dead, and none too soon for Tar Heels
9. Hofstra (11-2): Lots of teams rooting for Pride to win CAA tournament
10. Loyola (9-4): Have a chance to upend Hopkins on Saturday
11. Brown (12-2): First NCAA berth in more than a decade belongs to Bears with a win at Princeton
12. UMBC (10-3): Might not want to chance an America East tournament loss this week
13. Navy (11-4): Mids locked into field for sixth straight year
14. Maryland (8-6): Record aside, numbers look good for Terps to squeak into field
15. Georgetown (7-6): Hoyas still alive, but need a little help
16. Bucknell (9-7): Bison’s hopes of first berth since 2001 faded with loss to Navy
17. Massachusetts (8-5): Minutemen can get in with defeat of 4-10 Rutgers on Saturday
18. Harvard (7-5): Probably not getting in, but Crimson made progress in year two under John Tillman. Finishing 8-5 with a defeat of Dartmouth would be good
19. Colgate (9-5): Raiders have taken two straight from Cuse. Can they make it three?
20. Penn State (8-5): Can spoil Georgetown’s tournament hopes Saturday on the Hilltop
Plus five more:
21. Stony Brook (8-5)
22. Bryant (10-5)
23. Albany (7-6)
24. Fairfield (7-6)
25. Air Force (7-6)
—- Patrick Stevens